How professional models (and new automobiles) are photographed.
"THIS PICTURE SHOWS HOW PROFESSIONAL MODELS -- BEAUTIFUL GIRLS -- ARE USED IN MAKING UP MAGAZINE COVERS. A CHEVROLET IS SHOWN ON THE MAGAZINE COVER, EMPHASIZING ITS BEAUTY."
Ken Smith sez: This purports to be a film about the workings of a big city model agency, but it's really just an excuse for Jam Handy to pose pretty girls around a '41 Chevrolet. Narrated by Walter O'Keefe (see Three Smart Daughters) who's much too wisecracking, whining and beligerent to be believed. The camera becomes the unseen Walter, and dwells lovingly on the "babes," "honeys" and "tasty tidbits" while Walter utters lines such as "Boy, what a set of props!" The excellent visual gimmickry in this film almost makes you overlook its rampant sexism, but nothing can get out of the way of Walter's annoying chatter.
This late entry in Chevrolet's Direct Mass Selling series comes closer to an actual advertisement for Chevrolet than its predecessors. Like other films in the series, it ostensibly exposes technology's inner workings: here, the tricks of the advertising photography trade. The Jam Handy organization, which shot thousands of still photographs every year, explains how effects and artifices are achieved, treating members of the mass market as media insiders. Most interesting and provocative about this film, though, is the way it
equates cars with women. Feature by feature, narrator Walter O'Keefe acidly, and in the most snide and demeaning terms, compares the parts of automobiles with those of professional models. At film's end the features combine in a wonderful optical effect, and we see a young woman behind the wheel of a Chevrolet. For years cars have been endowed with gender characteristics, more often than not those of girls or women. Auto design is often presented in feminized terms, and the relationship between male drivers and their
vehicles has been eroticized. The Girl on the Magazine Cover makes reference to this history, but in a leering, caricatured manner. It is certainly not designed to sell Chevies to women. Walter O'Keefe, a radio personality well known to prewar audiences, worked with Jam Handy on other occasions (his voice is featured on the two Singer Company Minute Movies on this disc). According to a newspaper story,
his wife sued him for divorce on the grounds of "extreme cruelty."
CHEVROLET ADVERTISING AUTOMOBILES TRANSPORTATION MODELS ACTRESSES WOMEN SEX ROLES NARRATORS VOICEOVERS PHOTOGRAPHY MEDIA COMMUNICATIONS HUMOR BACKDROPS SETS WIPES MAGAZINES STUDIOS LIGHTS FEET SHOES STEERING WHEELS CAMERAS
July 7, 2009 Subject:
A interesting slice of history.
Watching this old film, one is taken back and given a good lesson on how American's thought and expressed themselves. Some things were just accepted as being the normal events of life in America.
It's also interesting to see Millard Mitchell in an early role (as the photographer), before he became a better known character and second lead player later in the 1940's and 50's.
Like Winchester 73, Twelve O:Clock High, and Singing In The Rain.
April 22, 2008 Subject:
Another fun Jam Handy film. Features great footage of the time.
Please Rick, Upload More!
November 16, 2005 Subject:
Humorous but informative
While this film is humorous and entertaining, it
does explain things well. Excellent job.
July 4, 2003 Subject:
Get OUT of there!
This surprisingly great film made about photographic processes features a VERY tongue in cheek narrator popping into a studio to find out how they make those dames look so good in photographs. To do this, we meet quite possibly the funniest character ever introduced in a Jem Handy film. This VERY disgusted photographer grudgingly lets us take a tour while he photographs his latest model, but the narrator's camera always seems to get in the way, and the photographer yells at us. A very well put together short, this is a MUST SEE on this site!